It’s sex trafficking, not prostitution, and it’s happening here

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By Claire VanValkenburg

“Talking about human trafficking is difficult. Experiencing it is harder,” reads the campaign poster of WI, We Need to Talk, an initiative organized by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF).

It’s a powerful ad aimed at addressing the sex trafficking epidemic occurring across Madison. According to an investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal, police have identified about 300 girls under the age of 18 who were trafficked between 2012 and 2016. Additionally, in a 2011 study on the prevalence of sex trafficking in Dane County, a pediatrician estimated 90 percent of girls at the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center had some history of sex trafficking.

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A shift in kitchen culture

By Suzie Kazar

Day after day as a line cook, Molly Maciejewski’s co-worker posed the same question to her.

“He asked me every day when I was getting married and when I was going to stop working in restaurants so I could take care of my husband and kids,” said Maciejewski, now the executive chef and general manager of Madison Sourdough.

When she explained that she loved cooking and wanted to continue doing it professionally, her co-worker had trouble understanding.

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